SHERWOOD, Ark. – Students and teachers at Sylvan Hills High School joined together Thursday for a balloon to honor the lives of students lost over the weekend in a fatal car crash in Wyoming.
According to the Pulaski County Special School District, a total of five students died in the crash on their way back from visiting Jackson Hole Bible College. Two were current students: Ava Luplow and Suzy Prime. Three were former: Andrea Prime (sister to Suzy), Maggie Franco and Salomon Correa.
According to the Wyoming Highway Patrol, 57-year-old Arthur Nelson was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired. He was charged with 11 crimes, five of which are for aggravated homicide by vehicle.
For family and friends of the students killed, this is a story of loss, but also one of hope.
“Although I’m mourning, I’m also rejoicing,” Isaac Riley, who was close friends with the students said.
Riley and Juan Silva reflected on the students before the balloon release Thursday to honor their friends.
Juan Silva is a student at Jackson Hole Bible College in Wyoming. He said the students were visiting him and died on their way home.
“We went to go eat and we were talking about the Lord… how good and wonderful His plans are,” he said. “We praised God and said our last goodbyes, but I didn’t know it was going to be our last goodbyes.”
Both Silva and Riley said their hope is in God, even in the midst of heartbreak.
“What’s comforted me a lot is Psalm 46:1 and it says that God is our refuge and strength… very present help in trouble,” Silva said.
Their hope for sharing about this tremendous loss is that everyone will see exactly who is getting them through it.
“They were good representatives of Christ and living like Christ,” Silva stated.
The funeral for the students will be at Sylvan Hills Performing Arts Center next Saturday, February 4th.